In addition to being injury-free, Saturday’s scrimmage was packed with highlights, starting with Cole Givens and Drequn Sewell who both took back kickoffs 90 yards for first-quarter touchdowns.
“We were proud of that,” McFerrin said. “We worked hard on that (special teams) and it showed.”
Bryant Shirreffs hit Givens for a 60-yard touchdown pass on Jefferson’s actual first play from scrimmage and later found Givens on a 21-yard scoring strike to put Jefferson up 28-8 at the half. Lumpkin County’s lone first-half score came on a 76-yard touchdown run from standout tailback Ian McIntosh in the first quarter.
The second half was designated mostly for second-teamers and sub-varsity players. Jefferson's Tristen Jackson broke loose for a 50-yard touchdown to start the third quarter and Dragon freshman Sammy Williams ripped off touchdown runs of 25 and 63 yards in a JV-only fourth quarter to close the scoring for the Dragons. Williams finished with 114 yards.
Shirreffs finished with 127 yards through the air in just two quarters, while Givens had 121 receiving yards in that span. Jefferson totaled 133 yards through the air and 250 on the ground for the night but wasn’t as crisp offensively as McFerrin would have liked.
“Too many penalties,” he said. “Just not very good execution and silly penalties and things that we’ve got to overcome. That’s why we’re going to watch the film and try to correct those.”
Jefferson’s defense held Lumpkin County to just two touchdowns, but McIntosh was off the field for the entire night – save for his 76-yard run – due to reported heat issues.
McFerrin said it would have helped his defense to have seen a back of McIntosh’s caliber for more than just the one carry.
“We needed to see him,” McFerrin said. “We didn’t touch him. He made us look bad. We needed him in there. I wish he had played the whole game.”
McFerrin said Jefferson would spend the rest of the preseason trying to correct numerous mistakes from the scrimmage “and continuing to try to get better on defense.” The coach noted that, overall, the team is further along this year than last year.
“If we keep on getting better, I think we’ve got a chance to be OK,” McFerrin said.